Newport Beach City Council to consider banning jetpacks

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Jetpacks have created controversy for Newport Beach locals who say the futuristic device is too loud, and city council members are voting on whether to ban the attraction. (KABC)

Jetpacks have created controversy for Newport Beach locals who say the futuristic device is too loud, and city council members are voting on whether to ban the attraction.

The water-propelled jetpacks can send riders high into the air over the harbor, but residents believe it's too much noise.

"Sometimes it's like a vacuum cleaner, other times it's like one of those power drills," resident George Farah said.

Those complaints and concerns about safety prompted the city council to draft a ban of the jetpacks in the harbor.

The proposal came as a shock to Jetpack America, the only operator with a permit to use the jetpacks in the area.

Company president Dean O'Malley said the company has had no major safety incidents in the last year. He also said the packs make less noise than a boat. He is rallying support before the council votes on the ban Tuesday.

"We believe that over the past four years we've been self-regulating. We've been trying to put fourth our own rules to make it work," O'Malley said.

O'Malley said his company's permit runs out next week. He said if it is not renewed or the council moves forward with the ban, he'll have no choice but to shut down the location.

"We just want to show that the majority of folks out here enjoy what we do or are just tolerant. I think it's all about sharing space," he said.

If the ban does not pass, the city council may consider an ordinance allowing one commercial jetpack operator in the harbor.

Related Topics:
recreationnoise complaintbanlawsorange county newsNewport BeachOrange County
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